Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Kitchen Front
by Jennifer Ryan

Publisher: Ballantine
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In a new World War II-set story from the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, four women compete for a spot hosting a wartime cookery program called The Kitchen Front - based on the actual BBC program of the same name - as well as a chance to better their lives.

Two years into WW2, Britain is feeling her losses; the Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is putting on a cooking contest--and the grand prize is a job as the program's first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the contest presents a crucial chance to change their lives.

For a young widow, it's a chance to pay off her husband's debts and keep a roof over her children's heads. For a kitchen maid, it's a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For the lady of the manor, it's a chance to escape her wealthy husband's increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it's a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

These four women are giving the competition their all--even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together serve only to break it apart?
 


Kritters Thoughts:  Four women from all different walks of life end up in a competition for a spot on a BBC radio program and while they start as fierce competitors they may end up needing each other's skills and talents to overcome their personal struggles.  

The four women are made up of one set of sisters who live in very different homes, one with three boys and a widow from the war and the other is childless living in a grand home with what seems like the perfect life.  One of the other women is a maid who lives in the grand home and is basically an apprentice to the head cook of the home.  The final woman has moved to this small country town to escape London for many reasons and finds the competition as a possible way for her to return to London.  

I always love books told through multiple perspectives as it allows each character to move the story along from their point of view and for me the story always feels fuller from seeing from multiple eyes.  As each of these women are drastically different from another it was easy to keep straight, but I still took a bit of notes, so I could remember who was who.

I loved seeing World War II through a completely different point of view.  In the lives of women back at the home front as they make do with the food rations and try to make do with the little that is offered to keep themselves and their children alive.  

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to the reader who feels they have read every book and every aspect of World War II, try this one.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 12 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Crown.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


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